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REPORTING · 21st March 2010
Merv Ritchie
Late last year, November 12, 2009, the Terrace Anti Poverty Society Executive Director Stacey Tyers attended Terrace City Council with a plea to have their rent forgiven as they had lost their Provincial Funding. Article HERE The City granted this request and reduced the rent to $1.00/month until this spring when they expected the funding to resume.

On March 9th they received notice from BC Gaming the Society would not be receiving funding and there was no opportunity to appeal this ruling. It was a decision which affected many organizations across British Columbia. The Society has cut various costs and has been in communication with the Provincial Law Foundation, which may be able to assist in the near future, however the Society claims it will not be able to continue assisting those in need if the rent is re-set to $600 per month.

The City had been charging the Women’s Resource Center $1 per year for over a decade while they occupied the building on Park Avenue near to the Aquatic center. When Uplands Nursery purchased the Anti-Poverty Societies previous location the Woman’s Resource Center offered to move all of their operations to their main location across the street and provide this location as an opportunity for the Anti Poverty Society. When this proposal was put before Terrace City Council in 2007 the Councillors decided the location, now vacated by the Woman’s Resource Center needed to go up for others to bid on, arguing they needed to appear as being fair to other potentially interested groups.

In the following weeks Councillor Davies proposed using the location as a shelter for the homeless and intoxicated population of Terrace. She had various groups become involved including the Salvation Army. This entire episode, at times embarrassing for some participants, then carried on for months whereby the Society was forced out on the last day when the possession date came up for Uplands Nursery. Read October 2007 Article HERE. The Nursery owners were compassionate and patient and even the Regional District Kitimat Stikine provided a truck to help them move into the now available building as the shelter concept failed.

The City Council decided to determine what they considered a fair market rate for the rental to the Anti Poverty Society and finally settled on $600 per month. This rate has proven to be a significant hardship on all the workers and volunteers. Now with the loss of virtually all of their extra funding this vital service is on the verge of closure. The City Council was understanding last November when they granted the short term reduction and all indications are they will continue with their support.